Bruto is a black feathered member of the Aviators football team, and came to life in 1979 via Romano Scarpa. He is also the adopted son and teammate of Ellsworth.
He often works with Mickey Mouse to improve oppurtunities to findng the best athletes in the Walt Disney Enterprise. The league has also served as a platform for Bruto to talk about being an orphan and ways to improve opportunities for other athletes with wings.
Notably, like his “godfather”, he can use his arms as both hands and wings to fly.
The Tale of Bruto the Orphan and Ellsworth the Godfather
The story of how Ellsworth became the Godfather of Bruto is one of deceit, remorse, and fate.
In the tale, “Mickey Mouse and the Son of Ellsworth”, Topolino #1048 (Dec. 28, 1975) Ellsworth is battling with one regiment of birds against another. A bird from the enemy camp is captured and pleads for help from Ellsworth claiming his “son” is hidden nearby and that if he is unable to return, his son will be left an orphan. Ellsworth checks out the prisoner’s claim and indeed finds a fledgling among the rocks. Now believing the prisoner, he takes pity and secretly releases the prisoner.
However, he soon discovers that the prisoner lied, and the young bird he found was in fact, already an orphan, and was simply used as a matter of deceit.
Feeling sorry for the young bird, Ellsworth adopts him, naming him Bruto (“Gancetto” in Italian, meaning “little Gancio”). Under Ellsworth’s guidance Bruto grows up in Goofy’s house and learns to be very much like his adopive father, though not nearly as mischievous.
Bruto soon befriends Mickey, and becomes an adventuring sidekick for him.
Bruto to Ellsworth Comparison
In many stories Bruto lives in Mickey’s home, because his father seems to be involved in some adventures in exotic locales. There are very few tales where Bruto and Ellsworth appear together, and as a result, one not familiar with his origin might not know they are two separate entities. It is very likely that Scarpa may have created Bruto as sort of a “downgraded” version of Ellsworth, to avoid the risk of competition with Mickey that had affected the stories involving both Eega Beeva and the original Ellsworth as his sidekicks back in the fifties.
As Scarpa himself said, “Gancio (Ellsworth) *is* too strong a character to play as a sidekick. He’s got to be the star. Bruto is duller, and highlights Mickey’s role. The main differences between Ellsworth and Bruto, physically, are that Bruto is slightly smaller and wears a baseball cap (instead of a barret like Ellsworth does), and that Bruto usually wears pants, while Ellsworth does not. Also Bruto’s beak tends to be more pointed and shorter than Ellsworth’s. It is not clear, however, if they are both supposed to represent the same species of bird.
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